Public transport vital for any developed country

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Johannesburg - Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele says no country can claim to be developed unless all people, including those in the rural areas, are able to access transport with the least inconvenience.

"Overall, we continue to emphasise the importance of transport in the economic development of our people and in bringing our people from a state of underdevelopment to a state of development," Ndebele said on Tuesday.

Currently, poor people spend far too much on transport and it was the obligation of government to ensure that this was changed, he said.

Ndebele said the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, that was launched earlier this month, was a first step in the country's road to provide a public transport system that is not only safe and convenient but also reliable and affordable.

The department had appointed a dedicated Transport Coordinating Team to ensure the provision of sufficient transport for next year's FIFA World Cup.

Each province will also appoint a dedicated 2010 Transport Co-ordinator reporting directly to the national department.

Ndebele said the teams will allow government to easily overcome transport challenges which became evident during the recent FIFA Confederations Cup.

The minister was addressing a meeting with transport MECs from all nine provinces.